The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border
The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border

The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border

By Stephen Briseño

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Ages 4 to 8, Grades P to 3

Based on true events, this inspiring story follows a mama and her daughter at the San Ysidro border in Mexico, who are looking for the “notebook keeper”—a refugee who writes down the names of the families seeking asylum in the United States—so they can add their names to the list.

Before, the sun drenched the yard. Our neighbor's laughter danced in the streets. Now, the streets are quiet. Papa is gone, and we are no longer safe here. We are leaving, too.


In this moving and stunningly-illustrated picture book, Noemi and Mama flee their home in Mexico, and head for the US border. There, they look for "The Notebook Keeper"-- the person in charge of a ledger for those waiting to cross, and they add their names to the book. As the days turn into weeks, and hope dwindles,  the little girl looks for kindness around her-- and inside herself. One day, when the Notebook Keeper's own name is called to cross, Noemi and her Mama are chosen--for the generosity in their hearts-- to take her place as the next notebook keepers.

About the Author

Stephen Briseño is an English Language Arts teacher living in San Antonio, Texas. The Notebook Keeper is his first children's book. Visit him on the web at

Author Residence: San Antonio, TX

Magdalena Mora is the illustrator of I Wish You Knew by Jackie Azúa Kramer and Equality's Call by Deborah Diesen. She lives in the Twin Cities. Visit her on the web at

Illustrator Residence:Minneapolis, MN

Format: Hardcover

Length: 40 pages

Publisher: Random House Studio

Publication Date: June 28, 2022

ISBN: 9780593307052

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